Schizopolis - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Schizopolis Reviews

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½ September 6, 2012
Steven Soderbergh had got his career off to a good start with the award winning Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989). But, his career went jittery with King of the Hill (1993) and The Underneath (1995), but with what money he could, he made this experimental comedy for $250,000, it's inspired by the early films of Richard Lester, and you won't see another one like this for a while. Fletcher Munson (Soderbergh) is an office worker who works for a company owned by Theodore Azimuth Schwitters (Mike Malone), the leader of a religious group known as Eventualism. Life at home for Fletcher is very mundane, he communicates with his wife Mrs. Munson (Betsy Brantley) by describing what they're saying. He ends up taking a job in the company as a speech writer, which has various success. Meanwhile, there's a dentist called Dr. Jeffrey Korchek (Soderbergh again), who is identical to Munson, and has been having an affair with Mrs. Munson, who has been able to speak normally with Korchek, and it's before long before Korchek is having an affair with another woman, Attractive Woman #2 (Brantley again), and that gets him into trouble. You don't get many like these along, and you can see why no-one will fund them. But, you can see the influence of Richard Lester everywhere, particularly The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film (1960). Some parts of it are funny, some work, some don't, some are just baffling, and some are off the wall insane. It's a mixed bag, but a entertaining one.
½ July 28, 2012
With Lynchian and Bunuelian ambitions, Soderbergh wafts out scene after confusing scene with no apparent restraint or finesse. In spite of this, it's occasionally laugh out loud funny, but that doesn't rescue the movie.
½ July 16, 2012
Schizopolis is one of the most experimental films I've ever seen. All closed minded people should steer clear of this film, you won't find your satisfaction in it. You will probably end up looking in the wrong places. If you don't think you'll enjoy spending time analyzing the various, multi-dimensional, and plentiful intelligent nuggets of satire then please stay away because you will find nothing of interest. Elmo Oxygen will change your life as you know it. A+
½ July 1, 2012
This film opened my mind to what filmmaking can be. It is a ridiculous "dada"-like experience. My man-crush for Soderbergh reaches a sort of peak with this one. During a period of seeking identity in both my life and filmmaking, I finally watched this little gem and it blew me away. Turns out that Soderbergh was going through a similar identity phase- after making a series of studio films that were not as inspiring to him as say "Sex, Lies...". Not since watching Terry Gilliam's "Brazil" had I had such a joyous/cathartic film experience. Definitely not for everyone, but those willing to jump on board with the experience will certainly enjoy this outside of the box cinema.
June 7, 2012
Just a truly bizzare film about communication while very funny in sections, boring during others. Generic ending to review
½ May 3, 2012
Very experimental. Some great scenes deconstructing language and assumed meaning.
366weirdmovies
Super Reviewer
February 26, 2012
Basically a series of absurd sketches, like a feature film made by a TV comedy troupe, with a thin organizing plot thread involving a man straining to write a big speech for a cultlike figure modeled on L. Ron Hubbard. Full of ideas that are usually more clever than funny---e.g., the running joke satirizing lack of communication between men and women by having the characters speak jibberish, generic phrases, or different languages---but it should prove interesting and inventive enough to keep smart people watching to the end. Director Steven Soderbergh comes onscreen before the story starts and tells us, "In the event that you find certain sequences or ideas confusing, please bear in mind that this is your fault, not ours. You will need to see the picture again and again until you understand everything." So, you've been warned.
½ February 5, 2012
At the start of the story, an unidentified representative of the movie steps out behind the curtains, breaks the fourth wall and gives a disclaimer, "If you don't understand this movie, it is not our fault. The only solution for you to do is to watch the movie over and over again."

Taking heed of this advice, I watched the movie twice (back-to-back).

Schizopolis (1996) is an experimental and non-linear film composed of three different segments. The story follows the life of Fletcher Munsen, an office drone and a dentist, Dr. Korchek both played by the director, writer, editor, cinematographer, Steven Soderbergh.

One of the central themes in the movie is the lack of communication. The story elaborates on this theme in four ways. The first is seen in the first two minute of the movie when the man gives the viewers a disclaimer. Already, the man sets up the viewers to a predestined conclusion in which he assumes the viewers will not understand the movie the first time around Hence setting up the theme from the get go.

The second example of the theme involves the characters talking with one another. When Fletcher Munsen comes home from work, he greets his wife by not saying what he wants to say, but describes what he intends to say. So for example, instead of the husband saying, Hello, he says:

"Generic greeting."
She in turn responds with, "Generic greeting returned"

When Munsen inquires about dinner, he says, "Imminent sustenance?"
And his wife shoots back with, "Overly dramatic statement regarding upcoming meal."

The third example takes from the same scenario. The husband this time around greets his wife by speaking in a foreign language. Further emphasizing on the lack of communication between the disgruntled married couple.

The final example is of Dr. Korchek sending one of his patients, "Attractive Woman Number 2", a lewd and very confessional love letter. Speaking on behalf of the dentist, Dr. Korchek's letter was more or less innocently written out of sheer passion. He was immediately consumed by her beauty and whereby he foolishly thought she would share his level of intensity. No, instead she filed a sexual harassment suit against him.

The lack of communication is one of the most obvious themes in this movie. I know there is so much more layers that can be uncovered from the story, but because I did not completely understand the movie the second time around, I must do what the man had asked me to do from the beginning and watch the movie again until I fully understand.
February 4, 2012
i give it 4 because it could have been so much worse. I think what I like the most is that this film doesn't even attempt to entertain in a conventional way. It's so personal, it feels like we're eavesdropping on S. Soderbergh's thoughts.
January 11, 2012
Schizopolis is a whacky surrealist satire about... well, you tell me. The film is a mobius strip of strange ideas, self-loathing, and send-ups of the themes and tropes in cinema. Steven Soderbergh made this ultra low-budget oddball comedy less than a decade after revolutionizing the indie film movement with his critically-acclaimed breakout, Sex, Lies, and Videotape. The fact that he made this decidedly unsuccessful, crazy little film is just one example of Soderbergh's artistic integrity and versatility.
Super Reviewer
October 27, 2011
A truly strange film, it makes no sense and makes total sense all at the same time. Steven Soderbergh, at the top of his game, handles directing, editing, scoring, camerawork and the lead role in this comedic oddity.
October 25, 2011
One of the best films ever made.
½ September 11, 2011
I'm a mixed ba about this film. It's a bit pretentious, but I also like the risks Steven Soderbergh takes here.
July 16, 2011
The experimental, jumpy, eager-to-please-and-confuse rock show of a movie every director should make early in a career. Promotes all of the mental disorders I enjoy without suggesting any of the ones I don't.
May 27, 2011
What the Jow!?!? I really liked this movie.
May 1, 2011
I am completely blown away by the way Schizopolis challenges the basic foundations of not only cinema, but social structure and human interaction. There really is nothing else quite like it. Schizopolis has an energy and enthusiasm here that is seldom replicated in film.
plus its freakin' hilarious.
½ March 2, 2011
some of the weirdest, funniest dialogue ever. Soderbergh was really crazy back in the day. (thanks for the suggestion Celeste.)
February 9, 2011
Ooh, avantgarde, trĂ (C)s chic!
½ February 8, 2011
This is a very unique movie. Schizopolis is probably a good name for it. It's plenty confusing. Random, akward, and yet dimly funny, in ways that are reminiscent of This Is My Milwaukee and a mellower Tim and Eric Show: Great Job, though it really is its own thing. It goes on a bit long for what it is. Whether it can really all be made sense of, I don't know. Some of the metaphors make sense, but there is a whole lot of "What!?" going on.
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